Deep Sea Arcade

Column: Features   |   Date Published: Tuesday, 1 February 11   |   Author: Marie-Stella McKinney   |   6 years, 3 months ago

     It’s got a bit of a ‘horror down by the sea’ theme to it


Imagine cruising down the coast of Miami, sun shining in your face, wayfarers on and checking your reflection in the rear view mirror. All the while what’s playing on your radio? The soundtrack to this year’s summer,DEEP SEA ARCADE.

Embarking on a national tour with New Zealand band Surf City this February, 2011 is shaping up to be a busy year for the underwater psych-pop artists who have also been booked for a run of shows in the UK along with recording and releasing a mini-album later this year.

“It’s kind of something we’ve always wanted to do,” vocalist and keys player Nic McKenzie tells BMA, “because it allows us to release all our songs that we’ve recorded with Simon Berckelman from the Philly Jays [Philadelphia Grand Jury]. We’ve got a collection of all these songs, they’re kind of from the same place. So we’re gonna release that, and [Berckelman is] producing it.”

Loved for their atmospheric and cinematic dark pop sound, expect to hear more of this on the recording. As Nic describes, “The theme of the mini-album is kind of like surf horror, so it’s got a bit of a ‘horror down by the sea’ theme to it.”

The mini-album will also include four new songs fans haven’t heard, as well as a collection of the band’s other hits that have been well received on the radio circuit.

“I’m really happy that our songs have been played on the radio as much as they have been,” Nic says when asked if he’s been caught off guard by the band’s radio success. “But in terms of success, I do believe very strongly in our music and that it’s good music.”

And so he should be. Deep Sea Arcade are one of those rare bands nowadays, offering a truly unique blend of music caught somewhere between nostalgia and the present.

Keep on Walking and Lonely in Your Arms are insanely catchy and well crafted, providing angular guitar riffs underneath Nic’s smooth vocals. And then there’s the beautifully condensed All The Kids, which illustrates Deep Sea Arcade’s depth, as their name suggests.

While the band’s sound has been likened to classic surf rock, this was not necessarily a conscious decision.

It’s interesting that the surf rock has been mentioned. I would say that definitely there are elements of surf rock in our sound but it’s certainly not something we’re aspiring to sound like. We like to use kind of twangy guitar sounds and watery, aquatic sounds and that probably gives off a surf vibe. But it’s never been something we’ve been trying to achieve… maybe that’s come out as a byproduct.”

So with a busy year up ahead, where does Nic hope to see the band 12 months from now?

“You know, playing massive stages and being supported by U2.”

Catch Deep Sea Arcade, along with supports Surf City and Danger Beach, live at Transit Bar on Thursday February 17. It’s free entry, so get there nice and early.


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